Why would a motherboard have 6 audio outputs?

mubin

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Yes, there is microphone input. 8 audio channel requires 7.1 sound system which need only 4 output. Remaining two port can be use as input. You can also configure how many output or input through audio driver.

When you insert a microphone jack, there will be a pop-up to choose if it is microphone input or speaker output. You can also use front panel audio port to connect microphone in your case, if you connect it to motherboard.
 

JKatwyopc

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Each Port is a stereo input or output. That means that it has three wires for Left audio, right audio and return(Gnd). Therefore, since each port can serve two speakers, it only takes four output ports to connect the outputs to a 7.1 sound system.

There are 6 ports because you need

1. one Stereo port for the front left and right speakers
2. one Stereo port for the side left and right speakers
3. one Stereo port for the rear left and right speakers
4. one Stereo port for the front center speaker and subwoofer speaker
That's how you get 7.1 sound output( 7 speakers + 1 subwoofer ).

5. one Stereo input port for stereo Line in.
6. one Stereo input port for stereo Microphone in.
 

jdx3ds

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Jan 15, 2012
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Ok that makes sense

what do you mean stereo line in and how does that differ from the microphone port?

so I get how it OUTputs 7.1 (or 5.1?) but what kind of equipment accepts 3.5? I know of 3.5 to RCA (white and red) cables... what would those go into?
 

JKatwyopc

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LOL, I had a feeling you might ask that. I should've anticipated it. Anyway, I used the word Stereo to indicate the use of two signal lines. This would be used as an input from something like a VCR, DVD player, iPOD, MP3 player or any other device which has a stereo audio output.

The reason that there are both Line in and Mic in connections has to do with the electrical requirements of the signals. Often microphones have a much lower signal level than the standard audio outputs from an audio device.

Also, the voltages and current levels are different. It's not a good idea to plug the Line out from an aduio device into a microphone port because the higher current can damage the circuitry. Also using a microphone on the line in port doesn't work well for the opposite reason, not enough current to drive the circuitry resulting in very poor sound.

I'm not really sure what you mean by "what kind of equipment accepts 3.5?" Just guessing, I would say that you are referring to the Red/White outputs (RCA) from something like a VCR, DVD player, TV, etc. These can be connected to your computers line in connector using a stereo RCA to 3.5mm Splitter Y adapter cable ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120681 ). The "3.5" in this case refers to the diameter of the connector which plugs into your line in port on the back of the motherboard. In fact all of the Audio ports use 3.5mm plugs.

By the way, if you look closely at the picture on the page I linked above you will be able to see three separate contacts on the stereo 3.5 mm plug. Those are the three wires that I was referring to that connect to the contacts inside the Audio ports.